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10 Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Smelly Hair At Home

It is very essential to take good care of your hair. Smelly hair and scalp can be a major turn off. Although there are over-the-counter products that claim to help you get rid of smelly hair, they can not always be trusted.

At times, these store-bought products, serums, creams, and shampoos can contain chemicals or other ingredients that can be harmful to your scalp and hair and do more harm than good.

diy smelly hair fixes

What Causes Smelly Hair?

Smelly hair can be caused due to a number of factors, some of which are mentioned below:

• Oily scalp
• Dandruff
• Poor hygiene
• Dirt, dust, and other environmental factors
• Using too many chemical-based hair products
• Skin conditions
• Scalp acne
• Dryness of the scalp
• Lice

Be it smelly hair problems or hair fall, home remedies can solve it all! Listed below are some natural ingredients to get rid of smelly hair at home.

How To Get Rid Of Smelly Hair At Home?

1. Neem oil

Neem possesses antimicrobial properties that eliminate smell-causing microbes from your scalp. [1]

Ingredients

• 1 tbsp neem oil
• 1 tbsp jojoba oil

How to do

• Combine some neem oil and some jojoba oil in a bowl and mix them together.
• Dip a cotton ball in the mixture and apply it on your scalp.
• Allow it to stay for about half an hour and then wash it off.
• Repeat this activity once or twice a day for desired results.

2. Tea Tree oil

Tea tree oil has a pleasant smell that leaves your hair smelling fresh when applied topically. Moreover, it possesses antimicrobial properties that kill smell-causing bacteria instantly.[2]

Ingredients

• 1 tbsp tea tree oil
• 1 tbsp sweet almond oil

How to do

• Mix some tea tree oil and some sweet almond oil in a bowl.
• Apply the oil concoction to your scalp and let it stay for about 30 minutes.
• After 30 minutes, wash it off and air dry your hair.
• Use this once or twice a day for desired results.

3. Castor oil

Castor oil contains antibacterial and antifungal properties that help in fighting off scalp infections, thus reducing smelly hair. [3]

Ingredient

• 2 tbsp castor oil

How to do

• Add some castor oil to a bowl.
• Dip a cotton ball in the oil and apply it to your scalp.
• Allow it to stay for about 15-20 minutes and then wash it off with your regular shampoo and conditioner. Note that castor oil is sticky and hence it needs to be washed using a mild shampoo.
• Air dry your hair naturally.
• Use this oil for your scalp once or twice a week.

4. Lemon juice

Lemon possesses antibacterial properties that help to combat scalp infections causing-bacteria, thus reducing bad odour. It also treats dandruff.[4]

Ingredients

• 2 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 cup warm water

How to do

• Add some lemon juice to a cup of warm water
• Wash your hair with the mixture and let it stay for a few minutes.
• Rinse your hair with normal water once again.
• Use this once a week for desired results.

5. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) possesses antibacterial properties that help to kill the smell and infection-causing bacteria. [5]

Ingredients

• ½ cup apple cider vinegar (ACV)
• 2 cups water

How to do

• Mix half a cup of apple cider vinegar with some water.
• Wash your hair with a mild shampoo and then use this ACV mixture for a final rinse.
• Rinse your hair once again with normal water and then allow it to air dry.
• Use this mixture on your scalp once or twice a week for desired results.

6. Tomato Juice

Tomato juice helps to balance and maintain the pH balance of your scalp along with helping to get rid of smelly scalp and hair.[6]

Ingredient

• 1 tomato

How to do

• Take a bowl. Squeeze the juice out of a tomato and then apply it to your scalp and hair.
• Allow it to stay for about 30 minutes.
• Rinse it off with normal water.
• Use it once or twice a week for desired results.

7. Baking soda

One of the most common home remedies to get rid of scalp infections, baking soda also reduces the oiliness from your hair. It neutralises bad odour and also maintains the pH balance of your scalp. [7]

Ingredients

• 2 tbsp baking soda
• ½ cup water

How to do

• Add some baking soda to half a cup of water.
• Wash your hair with the mixture and let it stay for a few minutes.
• Rinse your hair with normal water once again.
• Use this once a week for desired results.

8. Onion juice

Onion contains sulphur which helps to fight the bacteria that lead to smelly hair. It also reduces the oiliness in your scalp and keeps it away from any kind of infections. Moreover, applying onion juice to your scalp also helps in reducing baldness.

Ingredient

• 1 cup onion juice

How to do

• Grind onion and extract its juice. Transfer it to a bowl.
• Apply the onion juice to your scalp, massage it gently, and allow it to stay for a few minutes.
• Rinse your hair with normal water.
• Use this once a week for desired results.

9. Aloe vera gel

One of the most recommended ways to treat smelly hair and promote hair growth, aloe vera gel also reduces dandruff and treats oily scalp. It also acts as a natural hair conditioner. [8]

Ingredient

• 2 tbsp aloe vera gel

How to do

• Scoop out aloe vera gel from an aloe vera plant and add it to a bowl.
• Shampoo your hair first and then apply the aloe vera gel to your scalp and hair.
• Massage for a few minutes and allow it to stay for another five minutes.
• Wash it off with normal water.
• Use this once or twice a week for desired results.

10. Garlic

Garlic possesses antifungal and antibacterial properties along with sulphur that helps to kill smell-causing bacteria. It also helps to treat other scalp conditions. [9]

Ingredients

• 40-5 garlic cloves
• 2 tbsp coconut oil

How to do

• Crush the garlic cloves. Heat the crushed garlic cloves with some coconut oil for a few minutes.
• Strain the mixture and transfer it to a bowl.
• Apply the mixture to your scalp and hair and allow it to stay for about 30 minutes.
• After 30 minutes, wash it off with normal water.
• Repeat this process once or twice a week for desired results.

How To Prevent Smelly Hair

• Avoid using conditioners directly on your scalp as conditioners are meant for your hair and not your scalp. Applying conditioner to your scalp can make it oily and causing odor-causing bacteria to thrive on it. Therefore, it is essential that you do not use conditioner directly onto your scalp.
• Wash your hair regularly to avoid smelly hair or scalp problems.
• Always look for the root cause of smelly hair and treat it. For example, dandruff can be a cause of smelly scalp and hair.
• Use a mild fragrant sulfate-free shampoo.
• Avoid touching or brushing your fingers through your hair frequently.
• Avoid exposing your hair in the sun and places that have a lot of pollution.

If you too are struggling with smelly scalp problems, do try these tips and remedies and say goodbye to smelly hair forever!

View Article References
  1. [1] Alzohairy, M. A. (2016). Therapeutics Role ofAzadirachta indica(Neem) and Their Active Constituents in Diseases Prevention and Treatment. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2016, 1–11.
  2. [2] Carson, C. F., Hammer, K. A., & Riley, T. V. (2006).Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties. Clinical Microbiology Reviews, 19(1), 50–62.
  3. [3] Gavazzoni Dias, M. F. (2015). Hair cosmetics: An overview. International Journal of Trichology, 7(1), 2.
  4. [4] Zaid, A. N., Jaradat, N. A., Eid, A. M., Al Zabadi, H., Alkaiyat, A., & Darwish, S. A. (2017).Ethnopharmacological survey of home remedies used for treatment of hair and scalp and their methods of preparation in the West Bank-Palestine. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 17(1).
  5. [5] Yagnik, D., Serafin, V., & J. Shah, A. (2018).Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression. Scientific Reports, 8(1).
  6. [6] Vorob'ev, A.A.,Seleznev, A.S., Pavlova, L.A., Kapitanov, A.B., Yang, A., Ershova, N.N. (1998). Experimental evaluation of the antibacterial activity of tomato pulp oil extract. Zhurnal Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol, (6): 8-11.
  7. [7] Vorob'ev, A.A.,Seleznev, A.S., Pavlova, L.A., Kapitanov, A.B., Yang, A., Ershova, N.N. (1998). Experimental evaluation of the antibacterial activity of tomato pulp oil extract. Zhurnal Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol, (6): 8-11.
  8. [8] Hashemi, S. A., Madani, S. A., & Abediankenari, S. (2015).The Review on Properties of Aloe Vera in Healing of Cutaneous Wounds. BioMed Research International, 2015, 1–6.
  9. [9] Ankri, S., Mirelman, D. (1999). Antimicrobial properties of allicin from garlic. Microbes and infection, 1(2), 125-129.

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